She’s just 17 years of age, but Gwynneville resident Maddy Eaton has her eyes set on one day playing for Australia.
The St Mary’s Star of the Sea College student’s desire to represent the Diamonds was reaffirmed after spending last week at a camp at the Australian Institute of Sport as a member of the Australian under 17s squad.
“My ultimate goal would firstly to make a Super Netball team, like the Swifts or the Giants, and then potentially be in the Diamonds one day.” Eaton said.
“The week was amazing, it’s very full on week. You train or play twice a day, but the whole environment’s so professional. The girls and coaches you’re surrounded by are really supportive, they’re determined to learn as much as they can and you just take away so much from it.
“You’re surrounded by such great players that you lift in you’re own game and just seeing what it’s like to be in that professional environment, it made me really want to be there.”
Training with the NSW Institute of Sport, Eaton has formed a relationship with Giants captain Kim Green. Eaton praised the Australian vice-captain for the support that she’s provided throughout the past couple of years.
”When I missed out on the NSW team this year, she gave me a call and just helped me talk through a couple of things.
“That really resonated with me because she’s such a high profile athlete that I thought she wouldn’t have time for me. She’s been really really helpful in that regard.”
Along with being selected in the national under 17s squad, Eaton has also been selected in the NSW All Schools netball team and her club side St. George UTS Sparks recently took out the NSW Premier League under 20s competition in Sydney.
Eaton travels to Sydney up to six times a week for training and games and while she acknowledges that she’s not living a normal teenage life, it’s a sacrifice that she’s willing to make.
“It’s not what a normal teenager does. It is a little bit difficult, but obviously my family, the support services at NSWIS and my friends are really supportive as well.
“It’s just, for me, about time management. So as soon as I get into the car, having a chat with my parents and then getting straight into my homework.”
Eaton’s parents praised Maddy for her hard work, dedication and never give up attitude.
“I’m extremely proud of Maddy and her determination and hard work that she’s put in over the years.” Maddy’s mother Alison said.
Eaton will now turn her focus to Australian Netball League trials in Sydney on Wednesday.